As a tribute to the leagues co-organised by Card Merchant and Metrix Daily one year ago during lockdown, I have decided to post my spoiler here and man am I excited about it:
There is a lot to unpack here so I would recommend reading the article as it goes through many of the intricate interactions and explains how the new keyword Spectra works. I’ll also run through some of the ways you can use this card to full effect against the more popular decks as well as highlight the current counters that exist.
Lets start with the basics, as a six pitch cost instant we are using a significant amount of resources on ours (or our opponents) turn to play the card so we need to be getting great value. It’s also an Illusionist aura with an odd effect that has not been seen on any card before and features a brand new keyword
Spectra is basically the defensive version of Phantasm which allows our opponent to attack the card on which it is printed, immediately destroying it and closing the combat chain. On top of that, the attack does not resolve, which may not seem important on the surface but the effect of Spectra prevents any effects on the card from resolving, including Go-Again. This means that any class which relies on these types of effects like Ninja or Warrior will be unable to attack for the rest of the turn.
Cards like Timesnap Potion, Lead the Charge and Scabskin Leathers create additional action points and do not use the combat chain so they are great ways to get around this downside. However, often these types of cards require a lot of set up (or luck!) in comparison to most cards that feature Go Again.
The second aspect of this card is specific to Arc Light Sentinel and forces your opponent to attack it if it is in play when they announce the attack. This means you can not play it in response to an opponents attack but you can respond to triggers or actions before the attack. This makes it a great defensive tool when played correctly to really disrupt your opponents game plan and help execute your own.
Playing this in response to an opponent’s Plunder Run or Steelblade Supremacy forces them to attack Ark Light Sentinel next, wasting their action card and ending the turn. It can also be played in response to cards with trigger effects like Show Time! thus disrupting a big setup turn and allowing you to continue to pressure your opponent. If you have enough resources available, playing it at the end of your own turn can give you a free turn to attack your opponent without needing to block at all.
While Arc Light Sentinel protects your own life total it also protects your other vulnerable auras. Because Spectra is a keyword, we will likely see more of this effect on other cards in the set with real downsides for not interacting with them making life a nightmare for any deck without spare action points lying around. Cards like Glisten become even stronger as you can put the counters on any aura and make use of the tokens for multiple turns in a row.
Class Specific Interactions:
I’ve compiled a list of some of the most powerful ways you can use this card against certain classes along with a list of cards that can be used to counter it.
- Negate strong combo lines and force your opponent to discard by playing in response to a Katsu trigger
- Prevent powerful Plunder Run turns
- Counter dominate effects from Ironsong Determination
- Remove counters from Dawnblade
- Play around Reprise effects
- Play on your turn to negate increased intellect effects from Stamp Authority
- Respond to compulsory triggers like Blessing of Deliverance to negate your opponents entire turn
- Big Bloodrush Bellow turns lose a lot of value without multiple attacks in a turn
- On their own, Induction Chamber and Boost don’t do a lot with out Go Again
- Laugh at Chane while he banishes his entire deck then proceeds to die from Blood Debt when he can’t use all of his attacks
- No attacks, enough said
- Great against big Rapid Fire turns
While there are a lot of ways to make use of this card, the list of counters is much smaller.
- Timesnap Potion – A great way to get two attacks in on a single turn but requires an entire turn to set up.
- Scabskin Leathers – Brute in general is one of the best classes against Illusionist as it usually runs a lot of six attack cards that counter Phantasm and has access to Scabskin actions which allows you to play around Spectra.
- Sand Sketched Plan – Same as above, the intimidate also makes playing Arc Light Sentinel dangerous as you will often have no defenses to hold up for the second attack.
- High Octane – Probably the best counter card out there, you can clear Arc Light Sentinel with a single pistol shot and still proceed to have a full turn to attack.
- Achilles Accelerator – Because you can play it at instant speed, this is another great counter.
- Arcane Damage – Spectra only works against attacks so any arcane damage will by pass the effect. While Wizard is obviously great, Runeblade can also make good use of arcane damage, bypassing all of your defenses.
- Back Alley Breakline – Another great way to get action points but not many good ways to trigger it.
Hope you enjoyed this spoiler and cant wait to see how Prism shakes up the meta-game!